WASHINGTON, DC – Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) strongly opposes the Trump Administration’s decision today to sign executive orders that direct federal resources towards building a barrier at the U.S. border and increasing the detention of migrants seeking entry into the United States—including refugees fleeing violence in Central America. “At a time when so many people are fleeing unspeakable violence and persecution to seek refuge in the U.S., today’s decision is a drastic contradiction of what it means to be an American. As the world has its eyes on us, it is imperative that President Trump uphold the values that America has always lived by: compassion, empathy, family, human rights and protection for those seeking a safe haven from danger and persecution,” said Linda Hartke, LIRS President and CEO. “As Christians, we do not fear our new neighbors who have fled for their very lives – we embrace them. As people of faith, we are called to love and serve our neighbors – and as a result, our churches, our communities and our nation are stronger,” said Hartke. At a time when the world is facing the largest global refugee crisis since World War II, LIRS remains committed to prioritizing and sustaining policies that support refugees and migrants. We view refugees as assets to our communities and recognize that their protection and resettlement is part of our obligation as a nation. LIRS will continue to work closely with its partners across the country to affirm our commitment to supporting their work in local communities, and with lawmakers to help prioritize and sustain policies that support refugees and migrants. ### Founded in 1939, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service is the second largest refugee resettlement agency in the United States. It is nationally recognized for its leadership advocating with refugees, asylum seekers, unaccompanied children, immigrants in detention, families fractured by migration and other vulnerable populations. Through more than 75 years of service and advocacy, LIRS has helped over 500,000 migrants and refugees rebuild their lives in America.